Growing Great Employees: Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers
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How to develop an all-star staff, even if you don't know the first thing about managing
"Your employees are, like you and me, flawed and hopeful human beings whose success is at least partly dependent on your skill as a manager, human beings who will thrive with skillful and consistent attention and wither without it."
Erika Andersen has helped some of the best-managed companies in the world develop their employees. Now she explains how to stay ahead of the competition by investing in your people. You'll discover that:
• Listening is your most powerful asset. Use it to motivate and build commitment.
• Everything you know about interviewing is wrong. Discover what you really need in a potential employee.
• Successful companies hire for keeps. Get people feeling like part of the team from day one.
Whether you're a first-time manager or a senior executive, Andersen will help you create a dynamic workplace, where the efforts you make today will blossom into success for years to come.
- Amazon Sales Rank: #23060 in Books
- Published on: 2007-12-18
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Dimensions: .80" h x 5.54" w x 8.40" l, .61 pounds
- Binding: Paperback
- 304 pages
- ISBN13: 9781591841906
- Condition: New
- Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
From Publishers Weekly
The management lessons Andersen distills from her career as a consultant to corporations like MTV and Bank of America are not innovative—most executives have heard about the importance of listening and establishing clear lines of communication. The centerpiece of her technique is a form of personality typing developed in the 1960s to measure workers based on their assertiveness, responsiveness and versatility. Evaluating employees through these "social styles" templates, Andersen promises, will help determine "how they like and need to be managed." Writing in a pleasant, conversational tone, the author begins each chapter with an imagined scene in a garden, establishing an overriding metaphor for her techniques for everything from creating job descriptions to firing underperforming employees. Andersen makes extensive use of worksheets and what-if scenarios to elaborate her points, and summarizes the "big ideas" in each chapter. For rookies, it's a serviceable introduction to the field. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Growing Great Employees is like having an expert at your side, one whose clear-headed lessons provide a nutrient-rich road map for perennially winning at business."
—Danny Meyer, CEO, Union Square Hospitality Group, author of Setting the Table
"This book transcends all the theory, fads du jour, and management babble on the current scene and offers simple, straightforward, and, most important, effective steps for creating a community in which people are so fulfilled and so productive that they achieve superior results."
—James A. Autry, author of The Servant Leader
About the Author
Erika Andersen is the founder of Proteus International, a consulting firm that works with many major corporations, including Molson Coors Brewing, MTV Networks, Union Square Hospitality Group, PepsiCo, Comcast, and Madison Square Garden.
Most helpful customer reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful.
Very interesting metaphor with even better explanation
By Craig Matteson
If you manage people at work or in any organization (even if you are a parent), this book offers a very helpful metaphor in discussing the difficulties in managing people. The title's use of the word growing refers to the idea of a manager as a gardener. The idea is that you can't make people "grow" or even do what you want them to do just because you want them to do it. The author covers the whole cycle of employment (although for families we don't actually hire or fire).
One of the things I like about the metaphor is that a gardener has to do a lot of work to prepare the ground to receive the seeds. If you have ever painted a room, you know that most of the work is in preparing to paint. In the same way, a successful manager has to do a lot of things to set up success in his or her organization before the actual managing of people begins.
Erika Anderson offers five sound principles for the manager as gardener:
1) There is no such thing as a successful one-minute gardener
2) Prepare the soil by listening (I would add that this isn't letting others talk, but actually requires hearing and understanding not only what is being said, but why it is being said.)
3) Maintain the right mindset (that is, just as a gardener doesn't give up or blame the plants if the garden is not coming in the way she wants, the successful manager believes in her ability to coach and develop an employee's potential and help him to develop into what is desired.)
4) Don't be afraid to prune. (This is done to plants to focus growth of a certain kind and direction - employees need this, too. However, just as you can't cut a plant too harshly, you cannot "prune" employees in a way that causes estrangement and anger and actually hinders development.)
5) Re-evaluate when it's not working. (Sometimes a certain kind of plant becomes noxious to the development of the garden. Managers have to be courageous enough to see this and make decisive changes when necessary. Sometimes you need to fire people.)
There is a lot more to the book in explaining these principles in more detail and the kinds of gardening techniques useful in succeeding with each of these principles.
Anderson provides some helpful illustrations, charts, checklists, and anecdotes from both gardening and business management. It reads easily. And if you like the metaphor, it will make the book that much more helpful to you. I think the book can be quite helpful for the person (manager) who finds the metaphor intriguing. It appealed to me.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful.
One of the best
By Charles Decker
I review books for major business magazines, so I see virtually everything published. As anyone who reads business books knows, there is very little 'new' out there. This book breaks the mold. The author has a wonderful personal style, so the ideas are quite accessible, and the garden metaphor never gets tired. I particularly enjoyed her emphasis on the importance of listening, as so many male managers are taught that THEY are supposed to have the solution to every problem when in fact outcomes are often decided in tandem or in teams. If you can check out the companion website to the book it can be eye-opening.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful.
Finally, something helpful!
By P. Mitchell
You know what distinguishes this book from pretty much everything else in this category: It's actually helpful. So many of these management books are filled with the obvious or the only-applicable-for-the-salesforce. This has stuff I was using the day I after I read it. My favorites:
1. How to really listen (sounds simple, but we're not usually doing it well). (chapter 1)
2. How to avoid with personality clashes when personalities/style differ, both between employees and between employees and clients. (chapter 6)
3. How to delegate and free up time (that's HOW to do it, not just that we're supposed to do this; already know that, of course). And -- this is what I began seeing just the other day -- how this gets employees to step up. (chapter 8)
Amazon's business book editor recommend the book, too (Titles for a Terrific 2007). Anyway, the book is good if you get to/have to manage people. I even ended up googling the author and found this podcast --